Mexico Beach, Florida - Floodplain Ordinance 712

Mexico Beach is on the Gulf of Mexico in Bay County, Florida and faces climate enhanced hurricanes, coastal storm surge, sea level rise and flooding impacts. In October 2018, Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in Mexico Beach demolishing 70% of the town’s homes. The coastal community has amended the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zones maps to reflect storm surge flood levels and high risk floodplain areas as implicated by Hurricane Michael flooding. An ordinance has been adopted in which new construction in Mexico Beach must be elevated at least a foot and a half higher than FEMA's base-level flood predictions in both the region’s 100-year and 500-year floodplains.

For more than 200 near beach-front homes within the community of Mexico Beach, FEMA’s maps had characterized their flooding risks as minimal. Many of these homes were destroyed by storm surge and flooding impacts of Hurricane Michael. Mexico Beach amended its City Code to update the floodplain requirements to require new structures in certain flood-risk designated zones to increase minimum elevation requirements (freeboard) using FEMA’s map as a baseline.

The Ordinance also directs City staff to develop proposed rules to require mitigation to impacts to the floodplain.



Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Related Organizations:

  • City of Mexico Beach, Florida


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  • Laws

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